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The MIRA Technology Institute (MTI) is gearing up to turn the spotlight on the importance of new skills for the automotive industry as the latest trends are revealed at the Advanced Engineering Show at the NEC in Birmingham on 30-31 October 2019. The largest conference of its kind in the UK, Advanced Engineering brings a wide range of manufacturers and supply chain partners together to discuss the significant challenges facing the engineering sector.

Top of the agenda for the MTI is the pressing need to address skills gaps around disruptive technologies that are changing the face of transport and bringing electric cars and connected and autonomous vehicles into the mainstream.

Lisa Bingley, Director of Operations at the MTI said, “With the increasing opportunities to engage with new products and technologies comes the risk that the skills pipeline may be unable to supply a suitably qualified workforce. At the Advanced Engineering show, we are excited to hear about new products and technical innovations that reduce production costs and compress lead times. But we are also expecting to hear that organisations, from OEMs to major manufacturers, are concerned about making sure that they have the right skills base to take full advantage of the technology as it reaches the market.”

The automotive sector within the UK is worth over £77bn per year and almost £3bn is invested in research and development. Almost every aspect vehicle manufacture is seeing step changes in development from parts and components, engines and transmission systems, steering, brakes and suspension, to electronics and electrics. Alongside manufacturing advances, the Government has subscribed to an ambitious target to bring all UK greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050 providing a boost to low carbon vehicle technology.

Lisa Bingley said, “In the current climate, it has never been more important to take a long view on skills. We know that training for future requirements sometimes takes a back seat when companies are absorbed with the pressing matters of today. But the MTI can smooth the way and help make succession planning and upskilling a way of life and part of the culture.”

The MTI is an innovative collaboration between education and industry designed to address skills shortages in the new disruptive technologies surrounding connected and autonomous vehicles and electric cars. Working with education partners in further and higher education, the MTI offers a full spectrum of training opportunities from apprenticeships to bespoke and commercial courses for businesses from across the sector, from SMEs to large organisations.

It provides access to a unique skills escalator, enabling progress to higher and degree level apprenticeships and beyond. This means that, for the first time, individuals can start an apprenticeship at Level 2 or above and progress to PhD level with the same training partnership.

As a dedicated resource for the automotive industry, the training is highly relevant and can be accessed by the full range and size of businesses within the sector including Tier 1 automotive businesses within the supply chain, and major international corporates.

MIRA Technology Institute was built with a £9.5m allocation from the Local Growth Fund, a pot of government funding awarded to the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership Limited (LLEP) for projects that benefit the local area and economy. The MTI is located within the MIRA Technology Park Enterprise Zone near Nuneaton.

Lisa Bingley added, “The MTI is perfectly placed to help organisations address the skills to support a low carbon future, identify the right training partners and find a clear path through the red tape. I am looking forward to meeting them at Advanced Engineering and urge anybody who is interested to come and talk to us on stand A24.”